Event Auctions Don’t Leave Money on the Table AHP Canada Regional Conference Fairmont Calgary May 1, 2012 1:45 – 3:00 R. Scott Fortnum, MA, ACFRE Chief Development Officer Saint Elizabeth Foundation
Fun Profitable Enhances an existing event Great for in-kind donors Engaging Entertaining Value added for the organization and the guestWhy an auction?
Language Pricing Bargains Overpay Bidding twice Selling twice Philanthropic competition Auctions can rationalize expendituresUnique attributes of an auction
Who’s been to a live auction? Whose Foundation hosts live auctions? What do you remember most? Benefit (Charity) auctions vs. others Cattle Call Auto auction Amish auctioneerAuctions
Silent Auction ◦ Types of items Smaller items and experiences Known retail value items Gift certificates ◦ Tips Pull sheets at random Indicate increments Full item descriptionSilent Auction
When to have a live auction What items to put in the live auction Avoiding the bargain hunter mind-set ◦ $50 ◦ Raise the Paddle Spotters (Ring-men) ◦ Auto Auction Ring Man Product Display ◦ Image projection ◦ Playboy Art ◦ Game Tickets ◦ Drive in ◦ Walk and show/feel Ethical considerations Buyer paymentLive auction
Wants to sell items for as much as possible Wants to keep things lively and moving quickly Wants to sell saleable items with broad appeal Wants items that generate excitement The auctioneer can control the flow and manage the crowdThe auctioneer’s perspective
Happy Audience Big Money Fun, excitement, energy No buyer’s remorse Happy donors Fun, engaging eventThe Foundation’s perspective
Spotlight Corded mike Stage Quiet bids Other activities Bidder cards/paddles ◦ Sponsorship opportunity Uninspiring/ inappropriate items Poor quality items Late in the eveningThe Auctioneer’s chant rant
Experienced with fundraising auctions Able to be understood by an untrained ear Entertaining Knows when to push and when not to Knows how to pace Will raise more money for your eventWhy use a professional charityauctioneer?
Commission Buyers’ premium Flat fee Reception/meal/mingle #Fail – right product/right people Listen to the chant Think about the fit for your organization & the eventWorking with the auctioneer
Italian auction - Ming VaseThe guy you don’t want!
Review your events to see where an auction component can be added Find a good auctioneer who understands charity events Use the auctioneer as part of your fundraising team Raise more money and have more funSummary
R. Scott Fortnum, MA, ACFRE firstname.lastname@example.org @sfortnum